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Central Authorities' responsibilities and support in ensuring sustainability and collaboration in inter-country adoptions

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The entire Hague Convention has the aim to set a framework for cross-border collaboration in intercountry adoption procedures to secure permanent, safe guarded adoptions for each child. Collaboration, working side by side together with the same goal to ensure children have safeguards that secure  sustainability in their adoption processes.

This brings together Central Authorities and Central Authorities, Central Authorities and Accredited Bodies, Central Authorities and different stake holders and adoption triangle members to question ourselves and consider how best to serve sustainability in adoptions the future. Central Authorities need to have wide interest, capacity to gather and interpret information and capacity to monitor.

A Central Authority may also need to join together different points of views. We have in our hands currently a rapidly changing road map ahead in intercountry adoption work. Perspective in adoption work has broadened - PAS work, investigations into past adoptions, and phenomena such as the pandemic are reframing our thinking of sustainability and collaboration needs.

Central Authorities are given a wide range of tasks in the Hague Convention, some states may decide to assign to accredited bodies or other officials. However the division of tasks is arranged in each country, collaboration remains a core responsibility for Hague convention states. Collaboration can be viewed from many perspectives, internal and external. Internal collaboration needs to secure the joint aim in each country to strengthen the adoption system within, also if problems are found.

External, international communication, needs to secure that the main focus of adoption work is shared, and countries work in the same direction and are able to share information of difficult content. In our daily work communication may be challenged for reasons such as cultural differences or technical challenges, which remind that collaboration remains a core value.

The Finnish adoption board has three roles – it is an expert authority in adoption matters, the permit authority central authority in international adoptions according to the Hague Convention, the last role will be the main focus of this presentation.


About Irene Pärssinen-Hentula

Irene Pärssinen-Hentula, Manager and Chair of the Finnish Adoption Board 4 /2020 –

Previously Chief of intercountry adoption service for Save the Children Finland 2009 – 2020

During 2004 – 2009 worked to develop post-adoption services in Finland, e.G. in a four year development project which published a project report: Divisifying post-adoption services in Finland.

Worked for All Our Children organization developing services and collecting experiences of grandparenting and supporting multicultural grandchildren.

Masters degree from Helsinki University department of sociology. Social anthropology as major,  minors in social psychology, educational sciences and study of developing countries.

Interviewed 28 internationally adopted minors and their adoptive parents on children’s experience of ethnic identity in the late 1980’s in Finland, when researching children with direct interviews was out of mainstream.

Has received specialized training for adoption counselling and continues to have interest in learning more of adoptions.

Represented Finland in EurAdopt 2010 – 2020 and took part in work group writing EurAdopt’s demand for minimum standards for post adoption services -document.

Chaired the Nordic Adoption Counsil 2017 – 2020.

Has recently been trusted with a Danish Clumber Spaniel puppy in 2021 / the mischievous Winston – for which she is ever grateful to Denmark

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